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                <title>Dilettante 1.10-11 (1899-02)</title> 
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                One Dollar a Year

Single Copy Ten Cents





Seattle, Washington, February-March, 1899.
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                <div type="advertisements"><ab>
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Spokane, Wash.
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The Dilettante.

A Monthly Literary Magazine.

Vol. I.	 FEBRUARY-MARCH,	1899.	No.	10-11.
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Pakt II.


It was not until the following spring that we learned the result of Robinson’s expedition into the mountains after the buried treasure. From a member of the expedition, one Andrews, I heard the second chapter of this dime novel like adventure. Here is his story, practically word for word, although I have taken the liberty to add some slight rhetorical embellishments; for verily, this man Andrews knew little of the art of words, and could not write an ordinary business letter without lolling out his tongue:

“About two months ago I was approached by Mr. Robinson, who informed me that he was mustering a party of picked men for a secret and dangerous enterprise. He said that only men of tried courage and known integrity would be acceptable,” and a smile of innocent egotism and honest pride suffused the speaker’s features.

“Yes, gentlemen, those were his words. He

stated further that $20 per day and expenses would be paid each member of the posse. Then he briefly outlined the purpose of the expedition, and I accepted the offer on the spot. I was then sworn to absolute secrecy.

“In a few days the muster was completed. We were twenty-one in number, all armed to the teeth and well mounted. Then one dark October midnight we rode away from our Cœur d’Alene camp, on our terrible expedition.

“The nearest route into the neighborhood of the robbers’ cache is by way of Montana and the old historic Lo Lo trail, but as it was already well past the middle of October, we knew the snow must be deep on the high ranges of the Bitter Root mountains where the trail crosses. So we were compelled to make a 200-mile detour through the State of Washington; thence crossing the high farming region of the Potlatch we crossed a corner of the Nez Perces reservation and entered the mountains from the western side by way of the Lo Lo trail. As we passed through the remote stock-raising settlements of the Weippe country, and met in the lonely trails swarthy Indians and hirsute, bandit-like appearing frontiersmen, I for one began to wish I hadn’t come.

“Our camp at night had the appearance of a veritable military intrenchment, so nicely calculated was it for vigilance and defense Armed sentries paced all night on every side. Robinson showed generalship of no mean order, and although we did not anticipate danger from an attack until after we gained possession of the treasure, we were nevertheless put through a rigid drill, as a discipline for future emergencies.

“Naturally, so large a party of armed men traveling into the mountains at such a late season of the year, became an object of much curiosity


through all the country-side. The natives of the backwoods settlements crowded to the roadside to see our imposing cavalcade pass by. We told them we were a relief party sent out by the government to succor a party of surveyors that had met with an accident in the mountains. This story somewhat allayed the popular excitement, as it seemed plausible enough.

“Well, for days and days we traveled through the intricacies of the Lo Lo trail, journeying through a region of utter solitude. As we proceeded the snow steadily deepened, but we were able to progress at a good rate until we had reached a point about ten miles from the robbers’ cache, when vast drifts prohibited all further advance of the animals. Here we established a camp, and under the direction of Robinson, we with extraordinary celerity selected a guard of four men to look after the horses, then unloaded from our pack train a complete equipment of Norwegian snowshoes for the remaining seventeen of our party. A hand sled with broad runners was taken, upon which to carry the three thousand pounds or thereabouts, of gold dust! Within an hour after halting we were sliding away double file—a curious spectacle for those snowy solitudes.

“Snow was falling copiously as we set forth, and Robinson pointed out the necessity of the utmost haste, lest the snow should deepen to such an extent as to render it impossible to move the horses on the retreat with the treasure. The hazardous nature of our adventure now began to be apparent. We felt that we were in the inexorable grasp of savage nature; perils, mysterious and innumerable, compassed us about.

“We entered a high region of small firs and spruce, and Robinson led the way with confidence,


guided by some obscure, secret markings on the trees.

“At length, about noon, we reached the cache, in a dark glen among tall pines. The choking snowfall had lessened somewhat, and the sun peeped forth dimly, circled by an ominous halo. We dug downward through six feet of snow, then penetrated an equal depth of earth which had plainly been disturbed within recent time, then struck with our spades upon the lid of a treasure chest, with a queer magic thrill of enthusiasm. We all shouted simultaneously—a feverish, insane shout. We raised the lod: behold, an orderly stack of small canvas sacks weighing about twenty-five pounds each, and containing $5,000 each of virgin gold dust. We opened one—it was the genuine magic commodity for which all mortals toil, and for the acquisition blood flows in all quarters of the world. There were 120 of the precious little sacks.

“We were seventeen loyal, civilized men; men accustomed to obey the mandates of conscience, and to shrink from deeds of violence. But in that lone mountain glen, as far from the strong arm of law, dazzled, intoxicated by the extraordinary sight before us, we were all simultaneously smitten with a hideous suspicion. Each man glanced horribly at his neighbor; we shivered with vague terror; a sinister and altogether shocking mistrust gleamed savagely in every eye. Oh, baleful wizard! Oh, palsying magician—Gold! that turns warm human hearts to stone, and warm human blood to ichor of destruction! We friends half expected each man to fall upon his neighbor, to rend and slay, and for the survivor to seize the enormous booty. One man half way drew his shining hunting knife. A moment more and pandemonium would have


broken forth, with none to witness save the un-pitying sky and the tall, senseless forest trees, and the gold, already once won by outpour of human blood, would have again passed into blood-stained hands. By the way, in civilized walks of life, how often does not this glittering dross pass into hands as hideously stained; no doubt a record of such transactions is kept in the police court of the Most High.

“But our resolute captain Robinson broke the spell by a hearty, human call to the work in hand. A thought of our lonely and perilous journey home was met by a wholesome resolve to adhere to honor and duty, and a moment later all were at work loading the extraordinary cargo upon our sledge. Then hastily manning the ropes we set forth posthaste for our camp in the snow.

I now approach the recital of the most dreadful of our experiences, the which but to relate to this day makes my very soul to shudder. It was now close upon the verge of evening, and the snowfall had altogether ceased; but weariness and the cold winds of the mountains oppressed us bitterly. I shall not soon forget the mournful swish of the boughs, the solemn, fateful sky ( and the terrifying sense of impending calamity that was writ but all too plain upon the countenance of our leader. In the gray evening light we reached a point adjacent to our camp from whence a view of our tethered animals should be obtained. We peered eagerly through the deepening obscurity for a glimpse of the camp-fire light. All silence and darkness there. We came to a sudden halt, with whitening faces.

The situation was peculiarly unnerving. Had our cargo been but the ordinary plunder of the mountains—hides and venison—we should not have been assailed by these unmanly fears; but


the treasure made us all unwonted cowards. For long we hesitated in the twilight woods, fearful to proceed. At length we marched resolutely into camp. The horses were gone; and our four companions, what of them?

It was then that Robinson unfolded to us (talking guardedly, and glancing over his shoulder furtively toward those black and sinister sylvan recesses and abyssmal glens) that he had gotten wind of a plot to waylay our party and seize the treasure; that a strong party of freebooters had dogged us for days, and now, in all probability were lying in wait for us at a certain pass which we must traverse on our return.

Robinson related these points with a singular trepedation, that seemed doubly ominous in so bold and resourceful a man. And what was still more nerve-shattering, he seemed shaken and half way fearful of a second and more disastrous outbreak of the mutinous spirit exhibited by his followers beside the treasure-cache.

Presently we shook off our dismay sufficiently to ransack the camp, and to our surprise we found that the camp supplies had been left behind. I can not to this day explain the action of the brigands in leaving that portion of the booty, but left it was and its presence there suggested to our captain a possibility of escape. The scheme was so daring that its very audacity recommended it to that trapped party of adventurers.

Our indomitable captain proposed, in short, the desperate feat of sallying into the depths of the wilderness, in midwinter, in the endeavor to cross the high ranges of the Bitter Root mountains. Such a possibility had plainly never occurred to the brigands, who lie securely in wait for us, confident, that we must walk into their trap, or perish in the snow. Our path eastward must be through


a trackless mountain desert, swept by grievous sorms, and by a downpour of snow plentiful beyond belief.

There was no hesitation: death and robbery was our certain portion if we journeyed west, whereas, to the east, only the inclement weather menaced us.

Then with a month’s supply of provisions, and dragging that heavy treasure sleigh, we began a journey which, for torturing hardships and exposure and toil and peril, equals the Jeanette Arctic expedition.

And added to this life and death struggle with the elements there fell an episode that I hesitate to relate, so black it paints our poor common human nature.

We had been four days and nights toiling through vast drifts, when we paused for rest in a clump of mountain firs. We made a rude shelter, and overcome with weariness we rolled ourselves thickly in blankets and slept. The wind ran boisterously through the forest and on every hand arose the prodigious monotone of the tempest. It must have been near the middle of the night when I suddenly found myself standing on my feet, aroused instantaneously by an appalling outcry. It rose high above the rumor of the wind, and it was of a quality that should never be heard in any human society. Pandemonium had broken out. Robinson leaped in amongst us all, pistol in hand.

“Rally about me, all loyal men,” he shouted in a tone that only leaders can assume.

(This is the way Deadwood Dick of Deadman’s Gulch was wont to conduct himself in those thrilling yellow-covered fictions we used to read surreptitiously in the days of our adolescence.)

His favorites gathered thickly about him, and he told us the meaning of the midnight outcry. It


was another cursed tale of avarice and treachery and violence.

Robinson, it seems, had long suspected the loyalty of two of our companions and on this night he had not slept. The suspects had indeed meditated treason black beyond belief; for when the night was fallen still and dark upon the camp they rose to put the hideous plot into effect. They fell upon their first victim, and poniarded him, but in a flash Robinson was upon them, knocked the first insensible and overpowered his companion.

“And now, men,” said Robinson, “I appoint ye a jury for trial of these two malefactors.” The old misshapen moon peeped forth upon us at this juncture, and faintly lighted up that solemn wilderness. “Let them die,” we shouted in a breath. Our leader seized a rifle and summarily put the sentence into effect. From the moment that the outcry wakened us until the last rifle shot rang out scarce five minutes had elapsed; and all was calm again, and the tempest, charged with snow, swept dismally through the forest.

We slept no more that night, but blindly pressed eastward through the storm, only eager to escape from that appalling scene of treason. For days and days we traveled thus, guided only by the compass and an occasional glimpse of the sun. At last we reached a miner’s cabin, and from thence we pushed on to the outposts of civilization in the Bitter Root valley. We had traveled on our snow-shoes more than two hundred miles through a trackless wilderness, in the dead of winter, crossing drifts an hundred feet in depth.

There is little more to tell; only most of our men became gray upon that expedition. But every man was generously provided for by our bold captain, Robinson.

So endeth the second chapter of this tale of blood and gold.

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One fine summer morning I took the London-bound train from Southampton, but instead of wasting the glorious sunshine in that smoky “fog Babylon,” I halted at a little wayside station on the road, a quaint village buried among trees, and inquired at the postoffice the way to Eversley. The answer to my queries, both as to distance and direction, were hazy in the extreme, and I started off with some misgivings, which were soon dispelled by an old sign-post—“Eversley 5 miles.” So I had five miles to walk before I reached my goal, a spot forever sacred to all lovers of literature and hero-worshippers—the village church and long low rectory where Charles Kingsley lived and loved, and wrote the grand noble works that in his day stirred the souls of men.

“England,” wrote one of her poets, “thy beauty is tame and domestic!” Well, perhaps it is, yet it has been the inspiration of many singers down the centuries, from Chaucer to Tennyson, and as I walked briskly along in the clear morning sunshine, through the tree-shaded lanes with their tall hedgerows, a very garden of ferns and flowers; past some trim village with its neat thatched cottages clustered round the “Hall” or “Manor” where the great man lived; with glimpses of rolling park and magnificent old trees, and ancient church with "ivy-mantled tower,” the soft pastoral beauty filled my heart. Presently the road climbed a hill and I came out upon a wide, breezy down called Eversley Common. Here grew the tall bracken, and the gorse in full flower gleamed golden in the sun-


shine; it is said that Linnaeus praised God with tears when first he saw the English gorse in bloom; and the heather purpled the ground and rattled in the breeze, while the tall, peaceful firs waved their feathery boughs against the sky. For years the Common was a favorite resort of the Gipsies who would camp there through the summer, and among them Charles Kingsley did some of his best work; their father-priest, they called him in their soft Romany tongue.

From the Common the road descends abruptly through thick woods to the tiny village of Eversley —the Sleepy Hollow where Kingsley spent the busy toilsome years of his life. I went reverently into the little church left open for visitors, and tried to picture him preaching to the rustic congregation, brightened here and there with an officer's uniform, for Aldershot is not far distant and the preacher’s fame sometimes attracted distinguished visitors. Then I walked through the garden and shrubberies, and looked at the low house where “Alton Locke” was written, and “Westward Ho,” and where through the long wearing years of fierce battle for the weak right against the violent wrong; for the poor, the down-trodden, and the ignorant against their oppressors: the brave Christian knight found rest and joy with the noble woman he loved as perhaps few women have been loved—and where, when the battle was ended and the crown won, he died. In the cool shadow of his favorite fir tree in the graveyard near is his tomb. Made from his own design, of plain white marble, a cross wreathed with the passion flower, and the legend, “God is Love.” The tomb is in perfect repair, but the fir seems stricken with age, and the lawn and gardens wear a neglected and sorry appearance. There is some talk of buying it and putting it in order as a


memorial to Kingsley. At Bramshill Park near by are some fine Scotch firs said to have been planted by James I., and there is a legend of Archbishop Abbott, one of Kinsley’s remote ancestors, who shot a gamekeeper by accident with a crossbow, and was never seen to smile again.

Charles Kingsley lived through stirring times, when the very foundations of men’s thoughts and beliefs were shaken. He was a contemporary of Tennyson and Hallam, of the Newmans, of that wonderful brotherhood of thinkers who made the Victorian era of literature. He saw the passing of the Reform Bill, the repeal of the corn laws, the factory acts which relieved the workers, the Tractarian movement at Oxford with its narrowing tendencies, and the rise of the Broad Church. In the conflict of thought and opinion in which he found himself as a young man he had been tempted to disbelief. The calm trust of the woman he loved changed him, and made him long to see in other lives the God-given beauty of his own—made him a social reformer and the bitter enemy of ascetism; and in “Hypatia” he most clearly reveals the light by which he lived. He preached self development and the beauty of life and love—of justice between man and man, and a kingdom of heaven on earth; and men called him a muscular Christian, and sneered at his ideas as impractical dreams of good. So he spoke his piece and slept, and they found afterwards that he was wiser than they knew.

I went around the tiny village and found an old man who remembered him. “He was a rare good ’un,” the old villager said, “and allus stood up for the poor man.” In the soft evening light of the setting sun I took my last look at the quaint grave —and then wended my way homewards.

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Pre-Eminence of the Knife.

(The harrowing news comes from Olympia that several members of the present legislature have been caught in the act of eating with their knives!)

’Tis said (by whom, unknown) the reason why Some Washingtonian Solons scorn the minor graces,

And transport on a knife-blade bits of pie,

And with a scimitar do feed their faces,—

It is because they emulate New York,—

They’re up to all political tricks,

And know the knife, and not the fork,

The emblem is of American politics.
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Story of a Love-Letter.

Years ago the writer made the acquaintance of an ex-editor of the London Times. He was touring the Palouse country in an O. R. &amp; N. box car. I hasten to explain that I made the gentleman’s acquaintance quite legitimately and not by sharing his company on his travels. It is a fad of wandering printers and the more intelligent order of tramps to pose as dethroned bank presidents or ex-editors of mighty metropolitan sheets. It is needless to say this dignitary was in reduced circumstances. And yet he was no ordinary tramp, for he eschewed strong drink and affected some smartness of attire and even an approach to cleanliness. He still cherished the remembrance of a brighter experience, and carried with him a photograph of a pretty English maiden, and he allowed me to peruse the last letter she sent him. Truly, all men love a lover, and this forlorn old tramp rose in my estimation several yards as I read that delightful epistle. It commenced, of course, “My Darling John,” and kept up that exuberant strain for ten pages. I can not now recall the exact wording. But I felt like adopting John then and


there. The maiden died, it seems, before she had time to get a reply from John, and the latter, shocked to the soul, wandered away, a tramp.

(I had intended, at the beginning of this pathetic little episode to ring in the Shakespearian quotation, “If ye have tears, prepare to shed them now,”—partly because it would show my familiarity with Shakespeare, and partly because the quotation would be appropriate. But let it pass.)

As a sentimentalist I hesitate to complete the history of the tramp Jonn, it is so bitter a dose of disillusion; but as a pessimist I rejoice to chronicle this additional example of the inate deceitfulness of mankind. John proved to be an impostor; that love-letter and pathetic life story was his stock in trade. He had systematically worked that scheme on sentimental people for years, and had bought a $40,000 ranch in California from the proceeds of his nefarious trade.

John had bought that photograph somewhere, and some female accomplice had transcribed the letter for him. Strange to say, it did not occur to me at the time that a letter is a perishable thing, and that the original of John’s treasure must have long ago become illegible from age and abrasion. John wore out from two to three a month, at a good profit.
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They May Retaliate.

Should lovely woman be by law debarred From wearing her high theatre hat,

Some time, when men are off their guard,

She’ll be enfranchised, and all that;

And in the legislative halls she’ll pass A law forever placing under ban,

The horrid wretch, with countenance of brass

Who rushes out between the acts “to see a man.”

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The Real Richard Mansfield.

A recently published article on Richard Mansfield, by George Henry Paine, corrects some erroneous notions that are firmly imbedded in the public mind regarding the personality of this great actor and satirical humorist. The public has insisted upon taking seriously some preposterous statements which he has at various times made concerning his work, and he has thus won a reputation for an egotism quite monumental. Mr. Paine’s paper shows him to be a pleasant and kindly gentleman, though possessed of a somewhat satirical wit which has been entirely misunderstood by the general public. “It might perhaps be well to explain,” says Mr. Paine, “how Mansfield came by his reputation as an egotist. A reporter was sent to interview him one time, and the young man began with the startling question:

“ ‘Mr. Mansfield, what do you think of your art?’

“ ‘Since Garrick’s time there has been no actor but myself,’ replied the great man promptly.

“Where the reporter’s sense of humor was it is hard to tell, for he wrote up Mr. Mansfield as a terrible example of theatrical egotism.”

We venture to quote from Mr. Paine’s paper another anecdote showing the kindly humor frequently displayed by the actor in every day life:

Once he was trying to show a “super” how to say a single line that constituted his part. He pointed out to the man his deficiencies, and finally, taking the position himself, he rushed on the stage and spoke the line with a great deal of naturalness and fervor.

“Don’t you see how it is done?” he asked the super.


“Yes, sir,” replied the man, “but if I could do it like that I would not be working for three dollars a week.”

“Three dollars a week,” said the actor, musingly; “well, if you only get three dollars a week, you can do it any way you like.”
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The subject of this sketch is what is termed a newcomer in the sage brush and among the sage brush people. England is his native land, his occupation a grower of vines. He is an old man, alone in the world except for one son who accompanied him into our settlement, whither they were attracted by the earliness of our season.

This much I knew about him, but no more, until it was one day told me that the old English gentleman who had bought a corner of the broad alfalfa field beyond the school house was possessed of some rigid and uncompromising views upon certain religious matters, and had fairly set the neighborhood by the ears by his dauntless exposition of them. Now religious observances are extremely lax with us, and occasions were not lacking, of that you may be sure. But when I received this bit of information, I felt a sudden interest in this new neighbor; for somewhere, I am sure, in the remote past, the writer had a Puritan ancestor or two from whom was transmitted a certain sternness of belief. The character I most admire is that who, having determined the meaning of good and evil,


denounces the evil with hold and unswerving zeal; to whom that dividing line between right and wrong is not the hazy region so many account it— broad enough, in fact, for the ordering of their entire lives—but is clear-cut and unmistakable; a barrier beyond which some inner monitor forbids them to pass. This element is seldom uppermost in any new mixed community—and in ours, I regret to say, the quality described has been conspicuous by its absence.

Memory easily recalls one after another of these stern types—in which, however, the hatred of evil was combined with the kindliest nature, tempered by a ready sympathy—and the “hoary head” was truly a “crown of glory.”

There are old men among us—one I have in mind has an oath at the beginning and end of each sentence, and one or more “betweens” according to the length of the sentence; another desires your acquaintance simply and solely on account of the dollar which may be lurking in the corner of your pocket-book—if not a dollar, then a dime—some say even a penny will do, provided it changes hands with sufficient rapidity. A third, with a long white beard like that of the patriarchs of old, and eyes of childlike blue, will travel miles to hear a vulgar story or to exchange a bit of malicious gossip. Even Uncle Billy, excellent man, is one of the mildest of Christian, and is hopeless in the midst of this chaos of religious opinion and absence of real conviction.

Who does not admire the truly good old man, who has tested his religion by a constant service of three-score years and ten, less or more as the case may be. Childhood is always interesting, and “youth is lovely,” but even the strength and vigor of manhood cannot compare with the beauty of an


honored old age. Suppose his standards, according to those of the world, are severe? They are certainly better than no standards at all, beyond the “merely animal motives and methods we had when we were little children.” For my part, when an old man wishes to explain to me the difference between the doctrine of the Methodist Episcopal church and that of the Southern Methodist, or to give me his views upon complete sanctification or infant baptism, I listen with veneration and respect, and have not the slightest doubt but that the instruction is both useful and needed.

Early one morning a stranger knocked at our door. After one glance at the ruddy English face, closely shaven and framed with its complete circle of white hair and fringe of beard, the bright, young-looking black eyes meeting my own with a swift, keen scrutiny, I knew I was face to face with the new neighbor, and felt instinctively that a pleasure was in store. It was a cold morning and after performing his errand he was easily persuaded to stop and chat awhile at our fireside, which was honored by his presence.

Soon everything was forgotten—the housework was allowed to wait, the good man of the house postponed his business and hour after hour passed unheeded by. Our guest became almost immediately, as it were, a dear and valued friend. Rapidly and with eager enjoyment we discussed one abstract question after another, each tasting the quality of the other’s mind and thought with a delight and relish which can be appreciated only by those who have experienced it.

And when at last he left us, it was with a mutual expression of the hope of a better acquaintance. Is it true, as Carlyle says, that a man’s religion is the principal thing about him? Then our new friend is richly endowed.


He believes implicitly in the constant and all-wise overruling Power, as felt in the ordering of the lives of the “righteous.” He said:	“Why,

Master, I have never seen the day when I have not had friends, raised up to me in my need. It is a promise, and it must be accomplished. It simply cannot fail.

“My son, he tells me there is nothing in it, but that I have a way of attracting friends—that it is a personal matter. But I tell you, Mistress, it is not the case. It is because the good Lord puts it into the hearts of people whom I meet to befriend me.”

This statement he proved by varied incidents from the chapter of his life experiences, with an intensity of belief which was in itself convincing.

“Why, I am sometimes amazed,” he exclaimed, “that a dull, plodding man like myself should so clearly understand the mystery of the plan of salvation, that the road should appear so plain—for it is plain, Mistress—while others, with so much more wisdom and shrewdness, cannot see it at all, their eyes being utterly blind.”

He expressed an ingenuous delight that we should receive his thoughts with sympathetic interest.

“You see, I was beginning to consider myself a sort of black sheep among the people, so many oppose me just as soon as I begin to talk!” (Have I not some time read a fable of a crow that became changed by a magician from black to white, and met with the severest of treatment from the flock of black crows? Is there any moral to it? I used always, in my tender years, to skip the morals as well as the prefaces.) The old man regrets the levity and lack of reverence which appears in our so-called religious service.


He says:	 “Unless	 you are a child of God you

have no right to sing the hymns which express Love and Faith and Peace and Acceptance. You are but singing lies when you sing them so, and are but heaping up wrath against the day of wrath.” Such utterances naturally raised a small breeze of indignant amazement among those who are wont to celebrate every occasion, from a social evening with friends to a funeral service, by joining their voices in some jingling ditty, which has already served its turn in the church service, and is worn to shreds, never having possessed qualities other than those which tickle the ear, and perchance set the feet to going in sympathetic motion.

However, I would go a step farther than our critic, who takes it for granted that these songs are sacred, and deserving of reverence.

Perhaps many do not know, and the writer knows it by a mere chance, or conjunction of circumstances, that hundreds, at least, out of the thousands of slight songs each year given to the world, because Christian people must have them, are written by men who are not Christians, who are not even moral men, but infidels and libertines who write for commercial gain, and that alone. It is remarkable how eagerly the poor trash is received, introduced and sung to the praise of God. A thousand songs, when a dozen pieces of real music, wih the soul in it—the spark of genius, or divinity—would fully satisfy every phase of religious emotion. As if it were necessary to invent new and catchy tunes to please the ear of God!

The writer has often sat beneath the pelting sounds of this “music,” with face set with suffering and silent endurance. Or, joining in pure self defense, has felt like the guiltiest of sinners. Then, afterward, amid the silence of the sage-brush, or


the natural music of our river, she has recalled the beautiful solemnity of certain chanting voices— even the memory of such is imperishable—the strains grand but simple, as is ever the music of the Masters. I also love the remembrance of the roll and grandeur of the old Psalms—though the seriousness of some of these was so overwhelming that my little sister, I remember, found it impossible to withstand it, but was led weeping from the sanctuary with the greatest regularity. Still, I love them, solemn though they doubtless are. Many of the real hymns are similar and perhaps equal, but can never, in my mind, excel them.

Anyway, there is nothing truer than seriousness —it is almost the only thing in the world that is true. Even happiness is deeply serious—and to be gay is often a serious matter.

I rejoice to know that the needed critic has at Iast come among us; the prophet bearing this message of seriousness, who believes, with Locke, that “besides his particular calling for the support of this life, every one has a concern in a future life, which he is bound to look after.”
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An Inquiry Into the Causes of the Opposition to Congressman-Elect Roberts.

A movement is on foot among certain sticklers for propriety in Eastern cities to prevent Congressman-Elect Roberts of Utah from taking his seat. He is held us as a species of ogre because he has three wives. No evidence is adduced that he treats any one of the three in other than a


courteous and humane manner. As for violation of the law, it appears that the Congressman is in no way an offender, for he already possessed his present ample supply of wives before the United States law against polygamy went into effect. Morally, I should say the gentleman could not do otherwise than retain the whole “bunch” (to employ a Western colloquialism), and thus the sole basis of the opposition of moralists to his entering Congress lies in his long-past offense in acquiring the superfluous two helpmates; for I will assume that even in the eyes of his critics his acquisition of wife No. 1 was a pardonable and even praiseworthy act.

I submit that the opposition to the Congressman is based upon a consideration of policy rather than of morals. What an unfortunate example for Sunday School scholars, that a man should acquire three wives and yet enter Congress. It is too public a reward for wrong-doing to be tolerated. Again, some fear may be entertained by worthy but rather unduly prejudiced ladies that if Mr. Roberts is permitted to peacefully take his seat, sundry other gentlemen, following their natural inclinations, may be inspired to acquire additional wives also. This must be the real ground for the opposition of the churchly element, for the suggestion that Congress might be contaminated by association with Mr. Roberts is too frivolous to be considered.

I should say that the Congressman should have his seat, is much-married condition is no doubt a case of “letting the punishment fit the crime.”

Anent Indian Names.

A member of the present legislature has introduced a bill providing for the retention of the Indian names of rivers, mountains and towns of the State of Washington. Surely this is a man among ten thousand. How extraordinary that a legislator of the utilitarian West should think of anything so romantic! I salute him. He is a public benefactor. How much more distinctive it is to name our peaks after old Indian chiefs than to proclaim the paucity of our imagination by call-


ing them all “Bald” mountain or Mount Washington. Hangman Creek will become Latah, when this salutary measure becomes law. The state is already fairly well supplied with names of Indian origin, i. e.:	Snohomish,	Skykomish,	Skagit,

Walla Walla, Spokane, Seattle, Tacoma; and who would not choose Spokane or even Skykomish rather than the threadbare and weather-beaten names of the presidents or other public men. The state should never have adopted the name of the father of his country. George was an excellent gentleman and all that, but his memory is sufficiently well embalmed in the affections of his countrymen and in the name of the national capital. The state might better nave been named Spokane or Seattle.

The sentiment for the retention of the Indian names is commendable, but after all it is not always above criticism. In Indiana, on the Fort Wayne road, is an insignificant station formerly called Gravel Pit. Some poetic person hunted up the Indian name of the locality, which proved to be “Mechenemockenungoqua.” The poetic person began an agitation to have the name adopted. The railway officials frantically opposed it. There was a feud, bitter and widespread, between the factions, until the opposing forces compromised on “Winona,” which happened to be applicable. Somebody suggested that it be called Eagle Lake, but this found no more favor than Gravel Pit in the eyes of those to whom Mechenemockenungoqua was sacred; but Winona it now is, and the conductors on the Fort Wayne railway line can breathe freely again.

The Cost of War.

The Dilettante has often marveled at the will-ingness of the multitude to welcome war. Scarcely any complaint is made in any quarter respecting the prodigious expenses of the military and naval branches of the government during the past year. Yet military activity is already making internal improvements impossible. Commerce must get


along as best it can and cheerfully pay the revenue taxes. Recently in the House of Representatives Mr. Cannon of Illinois made the assertion that the probable deficiency of the government for the fiscal year would be $195,000,000.

“We can support the navy, army and perform our duties here and in our outlying possessions with the present revenues this year and next, but if we are to accomplish that we must see to it that no great appropriations go through in the immediate future. If you take on great blocks of expenditures you must issue bonds.”

“Can there be a reduction in the war taxes?” asked Mr. Sims of Tennessee.

“Not during the next twenty years.”

Chairman Cannon sounded a note of warning against extravagant appropriations, and particularly served notice that neither the ship subsidy bill nor the Nicaragua canal bill could be passed at this session. Although he specifically disclaimed speaking for anyone but himself, the statements he made, coming from the chairman of the appropriations committee, caused great interest.

The Dilettante does not mean to intimate that the policy of imperialism is unwise. We were committed to that policy from the beginning of the war with Spain, and to turn back at this juncture would proclaim us a nation of poltroons. The whole imbroglio, beginning with the destruction of the Maine, was unfortunate; but the Republic could not act otherwise than it has. We have already paid dearly, in both blood and treasure, for all the sea possessions of Spain; and the end is not yet. Selah!
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This world is but a vale of woes,

Where mortal man is shown That with the prettiest girl there goes The smartest chaperone.

—Town Topics.

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The Unreality of “Realism.”

It would be intertsting to estimate how largely the imaginative quality enters into the lives of the most practical persons. We have all seen conservative and able men-of-affairs who by the aid of imagination have been enabled to see in themselves elegant talents and great virtues quite invisible to the rest of mankind. Your solid man of business, portly, elderly, practical as a column of figures, scoffs at sentiment and reads nothing beyond the newspaper and the Congressional reports. He is hard-headed, a stable and “solid” citizen. And yet fancy, airy as cloudland, imparts unto this superlatively practical worthy the very savor of life. He dreams vaguely of future greatness and felicity —Congress, a vast estate, long life and sound health—unthinking that the heydey of his life is already spent, and a long oblivion near. He calls himself a thoroughly practical man, forsooth, yet scarcely takes cognizance of that ugly fact at the goal of every human experience—physical annihilation. He is thus a poet and a dreamer in his way, as truly as the rhymester and the insatiate absorber of romantic fiction. Yet any day, almost, this substantial citizen may pass through that melancholy and final ordeal, and will be seen no more, forever. He is fashioned of such material as dreams are made of.

It would be easy to write a book upon the unreality of “realism.” The so-called realistic novels that have been the vogue for some years past, aside from their mawkish triviality, are permeated with a spectral unreality that is truly chilling. I know that there are some dense people who declare that they will not believe anything they do not understand, and will have nothing to do with any kind of information save “facts.” The truth is, says Thomas DeQuincey, “of all the faculties of the human mind, the least to be trusted is the understanding;” yet most persons trust nothing else. The ultra-practical and commercial spirit of mod-


ern civilization has tended to intensify the demand for “realism” in fiction, and for facts easily explained. We are impatient of the vague and we are disbelievers in the marvelous. Yet there is a fate—vague and dreadful—hanging over us, from which there is absolutely no escape; and it would seem not illogical to tolerate the romancer and the poet who claim to have a little superior knowledge of the impalpable realms of dreamland.

I have no patience with the narrow dictum that truth is a cast-iron fabric, incapable of any elasticity. I denounce the miserable prejudice that would brand all idealistic expansion of literal fact, as falsehood. The marvelous career of Edmund Dantes and of Jean Valjean surpass any real adventures, save only the life of the Great Napoleon, and his entire career is but a chapter from old romance. The only remedy to preserve modern civilization from perishing through ennui and despair, is idealism. Hence those miserable, disenchanting “realists” (who write whole pages about details so trivial that no well regulated mind would even note them in ephemeral speech, much less laboriously incorporate them in a book) are enemies of the human race.

Now, if a man must follow the over-crowded profession of letters, wherefore spoil acres of good white paper with weary chronicles of mere detail and trivial facts? The newspapers supply us with that kind of matter in unlimited quantities. The man of letters has a higher mission. His first duty is to be an idealist, with a set purpose to paint the world a brighter hue than the reality; to people his pages with impossible (not too obviously impossible) heroes; to cast over all his scenes a light that never was on land or. sea. What a delightful adventurer is d’Artagnan, and would anyone disparage him because, forsooth, he never existed outside Dumas’ pages, and the stage?

Verily, it maketh one smile to hear the average, practical, unimaginative Philistine decry the reading of fiction—especially the romantic, prevaricating fiction that my soul doth love. Such a person once said to me that it was a shameful waste of time to read chronicles of imaginative adventures when history and the field of fact is open to me.


He said that he believed nothing but plainly demonstrable fact; that he scorned illusion, imagination and all fairy-land fantasies. Yet this inconsistent person cherished in the innermost precincts of his soul the settled belief in the illusion that he was a great man; he was of the opinion (a grotesque error) that he was a person of unusual manly beauty; that he was better than other men are, and that he was the all-around paragon of the race. And yet he is a disbeliever in illusion and myth and fantasy!

Nathaniel Hawthorne, the foremost of American fiction writers, relates in “A Select Party,” that a Man of Fancy built a castle in the air. “And if the people of the lower world chanced to be looking upward, out of the turmoil of their petty perplexities, they probably mistook the castle in the air for a heap of sunset clouds, to which the magic of light and shade had imparted the aspect of a fantistically constructed mansion. To such beholders it was unreal, because they lacked the imaginative faith. Had they been worthy to pass within its portal they would have recognized the truth, that the dominions which the spirit conquers for itself among unrealities, become a thousand times more real than the earth whereon they stamp their feet, saying, ‘This is solid and substantial!—this may be called a fact!’ ”

“Some Marked Passages.”

Miss Jeanne G. Pennington, compiler of “Don’t Worry Nuggets,” has published a strangely simple and yet striking little book called “Some Marked Passages.” The idea of it is new—the stories being “hospital sketches” of an original kind. The prelude to the book tells of the arrival at the hospital of a lot of books—not new books, but showing evidence of careful readings, and with numerous paragraphs marked with pencil. The ensuing stories, pathetic and strongly written, tell the effect which these “marked passages” have upon the minds and lives of the patients who happen to read them. The stories are thoughtful, entirely out of the or-


dinary, showing a deep acquaintance with human life in its less happy phases.

Besides the hospital sketches there are several short tales:	“Miss Zenobia’s Experiment”—a

ghost story which is not entirely without the light of humor, though it contains a tragedy; “Renzy,” the history of a faithful colored servitor; “A Fragment of Life” and “Chrystenah,” two sombre and peculiar tales concerning unusual human characters. The book is not cheerful by any means, but its gloom is not of an unwholesome kind, and the author is evidently a philosopher. The little volume is prettily bound in red and gold. Published by Fords, Howard &amp; Hulbert, New York. Price $1.

The Professor and the Guardsmen.

The vigorous and witty New York Sun espouses the cause of romantic fiction, and it lays about it with its literary scimitar with such effect that I am impelled to quote at length:

While Prof. Brander Matthews has been standing guard over the English language, his older enemy, Romantic Fiction, has broken out of the donjon keep, leaped over the moat and is again in what Prof. Matthews would call “our midst.” Two versions of the elder Dumas’ “Les Trois Mousque-taires” are to be produced on the New York stage next spring. We tremble to think of the thousands of persons who will be led by this means to make the acquaintance of our old friends, D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis. We tremble to think of the old fogies who ought to be improving their minds with the immortal works of Prof. Matthews and Mr. Hamlin Garland, but who will take down their dog-eared copy of the “Three Guardsmen” and waste the precious hours even as Mr. Thackeray used to do. They may not be able to go to the theatre, those old reprobates, but they can still read of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and D’Artagnan.

For the instruction of the young and the confusion of the old, Prof. Matthews should show once more the essential fustian and futility of this absurd story. He should not neglect to remark that nobody could really drink so much Spanish wine


as is said to have run down the distinguished gullet of Athos; that Porthos was a person of shocking taste; that Aramis dissembled too much and that D’Artagnan could never have been elected a member of the American Peace Society. Then the infernal improbability of the fellows! The. Hon. Aladdin Atkinson or some other Boston statistician has computed that there is enough glint of steel in the “Three usketeers” to read a whole volume of the United States Census by. How much more profitable it is to read the Census than to read Dumas is evident to all good men.

As to the amount of fighting in this regrettable book, it is incredible and disgusting. Dumas should have made his swashbucklers resort to arbitration. Then, as Prof. Matthews will not fail to demonstrate, there is so much motion in the book that several gentlemen who ride the wooden horse for their liver’s sake, scout the story as a hash of improbabilities. Finally, the wretched composition is interesting, and consequently immoral and intolerable.

Prof. Matthews should be sure to rate Sir Walter soundly, too. It is notorious that “Quentin Dur-ward” started Dumas on his career of crime. As for those absurd watchwords, “One for all” and “All for one,” how much better it would have been if Dumas had given his years to serious study and anticipated the great modern abracadabra of Sixteen to One.

“The Gold of Ophir.”

A truly Haggardesque fiction is this tale of the cliff dwellers of the Colorado river. The author is D. Howard Gwinn, of Garfield, this state. The story shows much of the imaginative quality made famous by the Haggard style of writing, and it is a really creditable piece of work in that line. The literary style is somewhat crude, but one is apt to overlook this defect in the absorbing interest aroused by following the adventures of two daring voyagers down the Colorado Canon, and their subsequent discoveries in the haunts of the ancient cliff dwellers.

Tennyson Neely, publisher; paper, 50 cents.



Most people have read “The Little Minister,” but even these will be tempted to re-read it when they see the sumptuous edition just issued by Mr. R. H. Russell. This is the “Maude Adams Edition” and is an artistic triumph—a fitting presentation of one of the truest, strangest Scotch tales ever written; and the pulpit and the stage are here boldly placed in friendly juxtaposition.

One feels a kindly amusement in reading of the quaint customs or prejudices prevailing in that small but famous village of Tnrums—the reverence in which the people held all members of the clergy, for example. When the little twenty-one-years-old minister came, “all Thrums was out in its wynds and closes—a few of the weavers still in knee breeches—to look at the new Auld Licht minister;” and they looked at him with awe, as at a being half divine. To the blase and cynical American there is something captivating in the simplicity of this attitude.

“Babbie” is a wonderful creation, and Maude Adams’ success in portraying this character on the stage is happily recognized in Mr. Russell’s new edition of a tale already known the world over. The actress who could adequately take the role of “Babbie” must be a genius who deserves some permanent memorial. The illustrations are splendid, and were made especially for this edition by arrangement with Mr. Charles Frohman. There are about twenty-five full-page illustrations, some from photographs, others drawn by C. Allen Gilbert. The cover is appropriately decorated with a small portrait of Maude Adams and a design of the Scotch thistle.

Published by R. H. Russell, New York. Price $2.50.

The New Books.

Not many new books have appeared during the past month. However, Rudyard Kipling has returned to America, and the mere knowledge that this “greatest genius of the century” is abiding among us—and may presently write something


about us—should appease our desires for literary sustenance. A number of unimportant volumes of short stories, travels, etc., have been issued from various publishing houses—mostly by unknown authors. A book of timely interest is “The Red Cross,” by Clara Barton. It is a history of the Red Cross Society, and tells also of her work in the late war with Spain. Her simple and truthful account of the obstacles placed in the way of the Red Cross workers is rather a startling arraignment of The army and navy authorities—although she makes no accusations.

Captain Charles Sigsbee’s narrative of the destruction of the Maine has been published in book form by the Century Co. It is written with force and clearness, and proves positively that the Maine was not blown up by an internal explosion.

Ian Maclaren has written a new volume of stories, and Dodd, Mead &amp; Co. publish it. “Afterwards” is the title, and it is guaranteed to extract copious tears from the most worldly reader. Henry James’ latest contribution to literature is his book, “The Two Magics”—containing two ghostly tales. The first, “The Turn of the Screw,” was published last year in Collier’s Weekly. It is a weird story of two children who are under the spell of a malevolent ghost. The other tale is less unpleasant.

R. H. Russell will issue immediately a profusely illustrated and handsomely bound edition of “Tre-lawny of the Wells,” Arthur W. Pinero’s latest comedietta, which is being presented in New York with such distinguished success.

“The Story of the Princess des Ursins in Spain,” by Constance Hill (Camarera-Mayor) will also be published at once by Mr. Russell. This book presents the picture of a brilliant Frenchwoman of the early eighteenth century who is a central and dominant figure during the turmoil and chaos of the wars of the Spanish Succession. Her history presents scenes of ever-varying fortune and adventure, and affords glimpses of Spanish and French court life, the work of the Holy Inquisition, and the intrigues of the time, and forms a live and vital chapter in a period of history of never-ending value and interest. Amusing scenes of domestic life and character are not wanting, revealed in an unre-


served correspondence with intimate friends, which shows that the woman who could stand alone against Europe and save a dynasty could also delight in all that was bright and charming in social life. A number of reproductions of admirable contemporary portraits further enrich a work which throughout is most interestingly as well as most carefully written.

Mr. Russell announces a new and improved edition of “Phil May’s Sketch Book,” in new binding, and a new edition of “Cyrano de Bergerac,” by M. Rostand, (authorized translation) with illustrations by Ernest Haskell. New editions of “Sketches and Cartoons,” and the Maude Adams Souvenir, will be issued immediately.

Mr. Whistler’s new book, “The Baronet and the Butterfly,” is also announced for immediate publication.

Harold Frederic’s “Gloria Mundi,” which has appeared in book form, is one of the recent works of fiction which has attracted unusual attention. This is partly owing to the death of the author— and the peculiar circumstances attending his death. Those who like “problem novels”—novels with a purpose—should read “The Open Question,” by C. E. Raimond, otherwise Miss Elizabeth Robins. It has made a success in London, and is arousing considerable discussion in this country. People who have no troubles of their own may enjoy exercising their sympathies over the woes of the Maryland family whose history is set forth in this book. The Harpers publish it.

Dr. Maurus Jokai’s “Hungarian Nabob,” which is considered by some authorities to be the best work of that prolific author, is to be immediately published by the Doubleday &amp; McClure Co. It is a tale of Hungarian life in the early part of the century, and its pictures of the powerful Magyar noblemen, their vast estates, wild customs and despotic power are particularly striking to the American reader. It long ago attained the position of a national classic in Hungary, and this translation by R. Nisbet Bain will be of much interest to admirers of the great Hungarian novelist.

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The Dilettante.

Published monthly by THE DILETTANTE Publishing Company. Editorial address, Box 1706, Spokane, Washington.

Subscription price, $1.00 per year. Single copies 10 cents.

Entered at the postoffices at Seattle, Washington, as second class matter.

Address all business communications to THE DILETTANTE Publishing Company, Spokane or Seattle, Washington...Remittances should be made by P. O. Money Order, or registered letter; if checks on out-of-town banks are sent add ten cents for cost of collection... Stamps taken for sums less than one dollar.

To Contributors—Short sketches, tales, and essays will be welcome, though no contributions will be paid for.

Publication Office, 104 W. Washington Street, Seattle, Wash.

Publisher’s Announcement.

Beginning with the next number of The Dilettante several new departments and a number of entirely new features will be added to its already fairly good list of attractions. We appreciate the hearty and sincere manner in which our book reviews as well as our modest efforts in the literary line have been received, and think we can make attractive other features of interest to our home people. Social and industrial matters will receive some attention in the future.

We will endeavor to make this the representative magazine of the Northwest.	 The	Publisher.
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Magazines and Periodicals.

The San Francisco Wave, that excellent illustrated weekly, has in its issue of February 11 portraits of some Washington celebrities. Addison G. Foster’s counterfeit presentment appears, also a portrait of Governor Rogers and one of John L. Wilson “between two supporters.” In a recent issue the Wave published an excellent picture of Mayor Olmsted. The Wave does not confine itself to Californian interests, but takes cognizance of the entire Northwest. Its editorials are particularly sensible.

Harold Frederic’s last serial, “The Market Place,” now appearing in the Saturday Evening Post, of Philadelphia, is waxing in interest. It is finely illustrated by Harrison Fisher, a young artist. This paper with its quaint old-fashioned headings—reminiscent of the time when Benjamin Franklin was its editor—has a decided individuality which is most pleasing. Fiction, current events, literature, the drama, poetry—all are represented in the Saturday Evening Post.

The Cosmopolitan for February is a “fiction and travel number.” There is a short story by Lloyd Osbourne, a sketch by Paul Laurence Dunbar, more or less notable tales by Eliza Calvert Hall and Sylvester Baxter. The leading article (finely illustrated) is “Emperor William in the Holy Land.” Frank R. Robertson writes about “After the Capture of Manila,” and there are other papers of general interest. “In the World of Art and Letters,” and “Some Plays and Their Actors,” are departments which Cosmopolitan readers have learned to look for.
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